Question: Adventure Time vs Regular Show
Hello and welcome to another “Deep Cliff,” where I listen to your questions and bring you in depth answers. For those of you who know me, I am a lover of cartoons. The cartoons I grew up with were what I loved and still enjoy even at the age of 20. I still love the Looney Tunes, I adore Tom and Jerry, and there are some anime out there that still entertain me, even if they were meant for kids younger than me. With that said, I haven’t really kept up with any of the newer shows and cartoons that have come out…two of them are the subject of today’s question.
A lot of controversy has been asked about the shows “Adventure Time,” and “Regular Show,” which can both be viewed on Cartoon Network. Some have called them new and creative kids shows designed for children of all ages, while others look on them as lazy and embarrassingly ridiculous excuses for kids programming. So today, we need to answer two questions:
1.) Are these shows any good…or are they potential brain rotting material?
2.) If they are any good…which one is superior?
To be honest, I’ve never watched either show, but I have seen the promos for them occasionally, and after seeing the trailers and promos for the shows, I can come to an honest conclusion just based from that.
Adventure Time, from what I can tell is a lot more childish and kid friendly. The show centers around a boy named Finn and a shapeshifting dog named Jake who both live in a magical land filled with very strange and interesting creatures and people. They have all kinds of wacky and strange adventures in this colorful land of theirs and learn a lesson by the end of the day. From what I saw, the animation wasn’t anything spectacular and some of the character designs just looked sad…like one is literally a pink cloud with a star on it…really? I know the old saying “less is sometimes more,” but that’s pushing it. Either way, I could at least get a little excited about what I was seeing from the promos.
The Regular Show was much different. This one doesn’t take place in a magical land…I think…it takes place in the real world where a talking and walking blue jay named Mordecai…and a raccoon named…Rigby…(seriously, are we sure this is the real world?) live in a park and work as park staff but often try to cut up and goof off rather than do work and this gets them into trouble a lot, so they have to get their act together and fix their mistakes. While Adventure Time always got me hyped for the show…The Regular Show just seemed boring in it’s promos, often just showing Mordecai and Rigby standing around and making noises or singing lame songs. They never DID anything but just…made loud noises for the sake of doing nothing.
Well obviously watching the promos wasn’t going to be enough for me to decide which was better, so I sat down and watched the first three episodes of both shows to get an idea of what I was dealing with. After watching them, I have come to a new conclusion…but it’s very similar to the one that I gave.
After watching Adventure Time, I was surprised by the character designs. The show takes advantage of its magical background and creates a world of characters that are very imaginative and creative (albeit lazy at times…I still don’t get the pink cotton ball that talks). Some of the jokes are funny too. I should make note that a lot of the humor in this show sounds like an adult trying to sound like a child. But I find that funny, trying to hear lines from the mouth of a child that just don’t sound natural is actually kind of humorous in my opinion…although it does fall flat in some areas. Over all, I enjoyed the show for the most part. There were some lame and even some very bad jokes…and often some humiliatingly bad episodes, but I still was drawn back by enjoyable characters with enjoyable episodes.
One episode that I really enjoyed was one that involved a vampire named Marceline. Marceline tricks Finn into being her personal slave for the rest of his life, and then takes him all over the land to commit dastardly evil crimes…or so it seems. At every turn, Marceline starts by suggesting that they do something evil, but her suggestion turns to an innocent act of goodwill or a humorous outcome. The end of the episode was excellent in my opinion with a very touching ending and a nice little bit of development on Marceline’s character. I am already growing to like this character, and I’ve only seen her twice. I hope she keeps coming back, cause I enjoy her.
But that’s what makes Adventure Time enjoyable to me. They have a lot of characters, but they know how to balance the humor with the character development and the morals. Each character is identifiable and the lessons taught at the end, while goofy and obvious at times, can be good lessons to learn. I enjoy many of the characters and sometimes it’s just the expressions and delivery that makes a joke funny rather than the joke itself. Is it perfect? No, but I did enjoy it.
The Regular Show is a little different to me. In this one, I DEFINITLEY hear an adult speaking through the mouth of a child…because that’s what the show is. It’s just boring and tame jokes. Well, maybe that’s too harsh. The show basically is about how Mordecai and Rigby slack off. They slack off and in doing so they cause a horrible catastrophe. They have to see the error of their ways (usually initiated by Mordecai, who seems to be more mature), and they fix the problem before it gets out of hand. This is a fairly simple premise and it works in some areas. As far as characters go, I do enjoy the idea of a blue jay and a raccoon being the main characters in a realistic park setting. But at the same time…they work for a walking talking gumball machine. Yeah…so are we SURE this isn’t a fantasy world like Adventure Time? I don’t even see the connection there. A raccoon and blue jay work for a gumball machine? It’s just random humor. The absurdity of it is humor in itself, and if that’s the kind of humor you enjoy, then you’ll love this show.
Like Adventure Time, they also have crude jokes and lessons to be learned at the end of the episode…but sometimes those lessons are hard to recognize. Like I enjoyed the one episode where they were just given the task of stacking chairs, but Rigsby kept insisting that they stop and do something else, while Mordecai tries to reason with his friend to stay on task…only to get off task himself, however, their slacking off accidentally releases an evil demon on the park. ….Yeah…subtle. Actually it kind of is. The lesson learned here is that slacking off and doing the bare minimum can result in negative consequences, but they did it in an over the top way so that kids wouldn’t feel pandered to. The only issue I see with this is that, at the end of the episode, there was no real lesson learned by Mordecai or Rigby. The two save the day, but then go right back to their lazy ways. Nothing was learned…so what was the point? It’s possible that I’m just reading too hard into it…but if that’s the case then the show is just about two lazy animals who get into nutty situations from time to time because of their laziness.
So first let’s answer the question, which is better? Well it all comes to preference. Adventure Time is more child friendly with funny and colorful scenarios with lots of magical activities and fun adventures. The characters are all kind of kiddy looking and sweet, and the development is surprisingly good. The issue is that the animation is wiggly and childish; not really for adults. Neither is the world they live in. The lessons taught are clear, if sometimes cliché. So, if you’re a lover of colorful worlds and adventures that keep you guessing, then you’ll probably prefer Adventure Time.
On the other hand, Regular Show is a much more realistic premise…most of the time. The idea of two lazy bums just doing nothing to get out of work is a real scenario, but the trouble they get into can be horribly over the top, but again, this feeds into the absurdity area of the humor. The characters aren’t well developed, but the animation is a bit more solid and not as wiggly and childish. The humor of the show, as said before, comes from the sheer WTF of the episode and the characters, which can work for kids and adults to an extent.
For me personally, I preferred Adventure Time, just because I appreciate good character development and colorful worlds of Adventure. Plus, I’m not very lazy, so I don’t really relate to Mordecai and Rigby, who are nothing but lazy. In fact, I often get angry watching them because they do what I wouldn’t to fix a scenario…they go for the bare minimum, and I just don’t approve of that…but that’s the hardworking mature adult in me talking…the child in me can always laugh and tag along with Finn and Jake on their adventures because…that’s what childhood really is, being able to suck yourself into the world of the imagination.
So now to answer the question, are they bad for kids? No. I don’t think so. The animation for both is choppy at times…the character designs are sometimes lazy, and the scenarios can be just straight up stupid. But with that said, they aren’t bad for kids. Adventure Time actually does what I think a kids show needs to do.
A kids show should have one goal: Entertaining children. And what better way to do that than to represent a childs imagination. When you think about it, the world that Finn and Jake live in is a fantasy world that seems to change and have different aspects that suit the story at the time…which is just like a kids imagination. They will create scenarios of adventure for themselves wherever and whenever they want, so the Adventure Time stories can take them to worlds of their own dreams, or places they never knew before.
The Regular Show entertains children by feeding their inner desire for simple solutions, but at the same time, throwing in the subtle message that the simplest solution isn’t always the right one; that slacking off and doing the bare minimum is often met with consequences. This is a good lesson for kids, but it always stays subtle by the end because the characters just go back to being their lazy selves every time, not ever changing their ways so they can keep learning that lesson over and over in new ways. It’s subtle…but there.
And let me be clear that this is all my opinion. I haven’t watched all of the episodes for either show, but I see potential for both. I only judged this base on the few episodes I had seen from each. Maybe Regular Show gets much better and much more creative, and maybe Adventure Time gets too goofy or more mature. Either way, I’ll have to keep watching and find out. If you like the shows, that’s fantastic and I can definitely see why they have an audience. They’re new and inventive shows that show some promise to be far more than what I have seen.
That about finishes this one up! Keep your questions coming guys!
Until Next Time